Akers, Evelyn "Evie" (September 10, 1934)
- Existence: September 10, 1934
Evelyn “Evie” Akers was born in Kansas City, Kansas on September 10, 1934, to Davey and Retta Akers. Mr. Akers was an electrician on the Pullman Railroad, and as a child he had to quit school after the sixth grade to help support his mother and sister.
Evie lived in Overland Park, Kansas, and attended Shawnee Mission High School. Upon graduation in 1952, she began work for AT&T, and she retired in 1983 after 30 years of service to the company in a variety of accounting-related positions.
Her involvement in sports started in 1962. In Ms. Akers words (Feb 2011):
"In 1962 a woman I worked with introduced me to a ladies bowling league and I developed friendships that lasted till the league discontinued in 2006. We attended WIBC National Tournaments all over the U.S. plus Kansas state and city tournaments. During this time, in 1974, I heard of a mixed gay league starting on Sunday afternoons at Mission Bowl, but was very hesitant due to my other bowling activities, and joining would be a daring step in those days. Anyway the next fifteen years were the wildest, most zany Sundays you can imagine. After three years we decided if we filled all 24 lanes (120 bowlers) and put a 'full' sign on the door, we could keep curiosity-seekers out. That sounds strange now."
Ms. Akers’ talents as an organizer were well utilized as interest in gay and lesbian sports teams grew in the early 1980s. In the fall of 1980 she was involved with the founding of the Kansas City Coed Sports Association (KCCSA), which led to organization of several sports leagues, including a local bowling tournament, the Mid-America Kansas City Invitational Tournament (MAKIT); the Heart of American Sunday Softball League (HASSL); and the Dart League. Shuffleboard and horseshoe leagues were also sponsored by KCSSA for a period of six years.
As she entered retirement, Ms. Akers slowly removed herself from the organizational responsibilities of local intramural sports, but she continues to be an avid bowler. She currently resides in Overland Park, Kansas.
Source: biographical essay provided by Evie Akers, February 2011.